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What our friends say.
Think back to when you were a kid in primary school. We probably had a close group of friends, thought the other sex had cooties, and horseplayed...a lot. And that's probably gotten us in trouble with another classmate, pulled in front of the teacher, and were told to say "I’m sorry" and to forgive each other.
But what if we don't want to forgive?
Sure, the teacher may have told us to forgive each other because they want to maintain order in their classroom. Sure, they might think it's the right thing to do because their parents told them so. But why don't we stop and question the act of forgiveness?
Teacher Mikayla Park puts it this way:
When you’re a kid, forgiveness is usually the cheapest, easiest thing in the world; it’s a hug, a laugh, and, boom, instant friendship!
That seems like a recipe for disaster. It’s no wonder millennials think they can get away with anything and bandage it up with a quick “sorry”. What’s even worse is that most of the time we actually accept “sorry" at face value. We’re so quick to forgive.
As an adult, forgiveness is like Pilates class; when you do it, you usually feel great afterward, but sometimes you feel awful going, awful doing it, and awful afterward, and you know you should have just stayed home, watched Hoarders, and gone some other time.
Are we so quick to forgive because that’s what we’ve been conditioned to do? Or are we quick to forgive because it feels good to let go of the weight of possible resentment?
Most of us would probably feel an obligation to respond to someone’s apology. There’s an untold need to “clear the air” and bury the hatchet. But unless we address the transgression directly, talk through the uncomfortable emotions, and come out the other side standing together, forgiveness may be the easy way out.
Perhaps sometimes, some people aren’t worth forgiving.
Sometimes things don’t end in a hug and a laugh and, boom, friendship! Sometimes the most someone deserves is not you—and that’s not heavy, that’s not a burden.